European investors counting on passage of key economic reforms before polls — ECCP

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, September 3) — Investors from Europe are counting on the passage of key economic reforms before the 2022 elections, the European Chamber of Commerce of the Philippines (ECCP) said Friday.

In an interview with CNN Philippines' The Exchange, ECCP President Lars Wittig particularly cited bills amending the Public Services Act, Foreign Investments Act, and Retail Trade Liberalization Act.

"Those three are pivotal in order to ensure that we literally capitalize on this big interest that currently is from European investors," Wittig said.

The ECCP chief also emphasized the importance of promoting more competition and better variety of services among the likes of telecommunications, energy, and transportation in the country.

"That can only be allowed by bringing down these barriers," he said.

In a separate interview with The Exchange, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez also emphasized that these measures - along with the government's flagship infrastructure program Build, Build, Build - are among reforms that will further reel in investments from abroad despite the COVID-19 pandemic.

Lopez also noted the country tallied $3.5 billion in foreign direct investments from January to May - a 37.8% annual growth.

Malacañang earlier expressed confidence that President Rodrigo Duterte's priority measures, which include the proposed pieces of legislation, will be passed even with the national polls fast approaching.

Both the Senate and the House will go on a break by October. The filing of certificates of candidacy will happen that month.